Dub Nation Rooting Guide WCF: Phoenix Suns (2) vs LA Clippers (4). & Open Thread...
Booker and the injured vs PG13 and the injured
Dub Nation Speaks
g8tgod on Jun 13
Since I was rooting for the Clipper to LOSE in the first round, I will continue hoping that they will lose in the second round. It's partly the tanking to avoid the Lakers shenanigans; it's partly that I dislike these rent-a-team pursuits of championships and hate to see it rewarded. Utah did it the old-fashioned way; through the draft and the occasional trade or FA. Denver, Phoenix, and Philly also fit that description. The Clips and Nets can kick rocks (along with the deposed Lakers).
Peter Hood on Jun 12
Anytime a team that is assembled like the Clippers were loses is a great thing for the NBA. Utah was built organically, no bad vibe pesticides, just good drafts, timely trades, sticking to a vision and letting team, players and chemistry all build into something. There are so many great teams in the NBA right now because there are so many great young players paired up and staying together. Remember when college players played 4 years and we got to follow teams and groups of players for several years at a time? The player initiated super team concept that leaves a trail of broken franchises in it's wake is just hard to root for.
Captain Jack on Jun 12
That Clippers squad has a talented group of guys.. too bad their potential will never be truly unlocked because their coach sucks and they'll end up breaking the team apart in the offseason when the Jazz wins in 5.
PHX mis-developed Marquess Chriss and let him go to GSW, so that was very helpful. (GSW also tried to re-habilitate mis-developed PHX draft picks Dragan Bender and Andrew Harrison, but with less success.)
Chris Paul. We covered the feud between Chris Paul and the Warriors, Dub Nation and most people in extremely vivid detail previously. In short, King Obnoxious with the Lob City Clippers, then Knight Obnoxious in the court of James Harden’s Rockets, he’s just continually getting in the way of the Warriors. He also brought out the best of the Warriors and Steph in particular. From the feud story:
What does Steph in Maximum Tryhard Mode look like? Between the Game 7 loss in May 2014 and January 6 2018, the Warriors went 13-1 against LAC, dropping only the traditional Warriors dud in Los Angeles on Christmas Day 2014.
Many of Stephen Curry’s most famous highlights came in that stretch against Chris Paul’s team.
He was elected Warriors Villain For Life, but unfortunately he was not able to dethrone James Harden as the most despised player in Dub Nation. Most recently, CP3’s 2021 MVP campaign irritated a lot of commenters here.
Cameron Payne was a role player for the KD OKC team that almost took out GSW in 2016.
Team Grudges and Storylines
Well, PHX has been horrible since the 2010 last gasp of the Seven Seconds Or Less Suns. When you’re horrible, you get a zillion high draft picks and now they’ve drafted themselves into being a promising team. It also means there’s no way to develop a team rivalry since PHX has been irrelevant for so long.
Also, PHX finished off the ancient remains of LeBron’s Laker Super Team in the 1st Round, so at least they made LeBron and his fandom start to grapple with aging and mortality like normal people.
Chris Paul has been a very good playoff performer, but has had some very notable meltdowns in the crunch times of key games. His body has also failed him repeatedly in the postseason. It seems likely that he will add to the second narrative this playoffs, and the jury is still out on the first.
DeMarcus Cousins. Honorary Warrior, but not quite Honorary Warrior For Life in the last election.
Warriors Villains (and Friends)
Patrick Beverley. Brash, chirpy, hard-nosed defender who has had lots of moments on-court mocking the Warriors and, well, everyone else. He irritated the Warriors in the playoffs both as a Rocket (through 2017) and the Clippers. Even villains can have a soft side, as he is also a good friend of Stephen Curry.
Kawhi Leonard. In our polling, Kawhi didn’t register as a Warriors Villain or really anything at all. People overwhelming didn’t care, even after his role whacking the dregs of the 2019 Finals team. After the 2019 Finals, Kawhi was used by LeBron fans / media to flog Stephen Curry. He was held up as an example of a star who can really carry teams
As I wrote:
Kawhi Leonard may be the greatest player to have no Stans. Everyone respects the abilities and talent. To me, the most absurd part has been his ability to steadily and majorly upgrade his capabilities each year.
Now you would think Warriors fans would have a strong opinion about him. After all he and the Spurs tortured the Warriors from 2011-2015 (yes I included the championship year). In 2015-16, Steph evolved to beyond Kawhi’s domination, but he threw a scare into everyone in the 2017 Playoffs until his injury. And of course, he helped put the Raptors over the Warriors in the 2019 Finals.
Despite all the negative things Kawhi has been party to, he never smack-talks. He gives amusingly literal responses to questions and seems to care not a little bit about the Fame lifestyle.
More importantly, he has unintentionally crippled multiple GSW-rival franchises. He kneecapped the unkillable-zombie Spurs out of nowhere and seems to have permanently torpedoed them into second-tier status. He then helped the Raptors but immediately left before anyone could really start to feel one way or the other about him. Then he forced a trade to the Clippers while apparently leading on the Lakers as long as possible to sabotage their free agency plans.
If that wasn’t enough to make you think he was a sleeper agent for Dub Nation, then he forced the Thunder to trade Paul George and triggered the demolition of Russell Westbrook’s Cupcake Commandos which then caused the hilarity of Westbrook joining James Harden, two players whose peculiar fan bases had just spent years keyboard-slaughtering the other; and also forcing the trade of Chris Paul, one of the most gifted and obnoxious players in the world, to basketball Siberia.
So… you can’t be blamed for loving, hating or not caring about the fellow. And so perhaps it is no surprise that the poll results are really really neutral.
Serge Ibaka. We just keep on running into this guy. A strong defender with a good jumper, he’s been a tough matchup for years, starting from the Durant-Westbrook-Harden OKC to the 2019 Raptors.
Owner Steve Ballmer. Irritating, but in the end the guy does shell out the bucks for a competitive team (who can forget the awful Donald Sterling who somehow got rewarded for his awfultude with a massive payday on selling the team).
Coach Tyrone Lue. The coach of the LeBron CLE Finals teams (except 2015), he held together a tricky mess of a Cavs team featuring LeBron’s corporate juggernaut, Kyrie Irving’s intense ultra-wandering spirit and Kevin Love’s sacrificing reputation and dignity to let the other two thrive. He also gave props to Steph Curry as the “Head of the Snake” in a time when most of the media was crediting Kevin Durant for carrying Steph and teaching him how to brush his teeth.
Patrick Patterson. Some minor snitching on Steph.
Team Grudges and Storylines
Once the principal rival of the up and coming Warriors, the Lob City Clippers ended up being a punching bag for years and then scattered to the winds. Kawhi tried to assemble a super team in LAC, recruiting Paul George. But will those two have the nerve to go Full LeBron on LAC and ditch them when they start to age out of contender status? Well, given Kawhi’s record, maybe that’s 100% certain.
Goofus reminds me that LAC blatantly tanked the end of the season to avoid matching up with the Lakers, so it would definitely be funny as hell if they lost in the first round.
I can believe both of these things: Kawhi is an incredible top player in the league, and he’s also absurdly overhyped as a team carry (let along . He abandoned SAS and they continued to be a good team without him. He abandoned TOR and they were a very good team the next year without him. He was injured last series and Paul George and LAC smacked down the Utah Jazz without him.
Paul George is a good playoff performer and it’s become a little cottage industry to dump on him when he has a bad game. But he led that team without Kawhi to the WCF (with some supernatural help from Terence Mann).